Davies, Mlles

, a Welsh clergyman, was born in Tre’r-Abbot, in Whiteford parish, Flintshire. Of his personal history little is known, except that he was a good scholar, very conversant in the literary history of his country, and very unfortunate in attempting to turn his knowlege to advantage. He was a vehement foe to Popery, Arianism, and Socinianism, and of the most fervent loyalty. to George I. and the Hanoverian succession. Owing to some disgust, he quitted his native place, and probably his profession when he came to London, as he subscribes himself “counsellor-at-law;” and in one of his volumes has a long digression on law and law-writers. Here he commenced author in the humblest form, not content with dedicating to the great, but hawking his books in person from door to door, where he was often repulsed with rudeness, and seldom appears to have been treated with kindness or liberality. How long he carried on this unprosperous business, or when he died, we have not been able to discover. Mr. D’Israeli, who has taken much pains to rescue his name from oblivion, suspects that his mind became disordered from poverty and disappointment. He appears to have courted the Muses, who certainly were not very favourable to his addresses. The most curious of | his works consist of some volumes under the general title of “Athenæ Britannicæ,” 8vo, 1715, &c. a kind of bibliographical, biographical, and critical work, “the greatest part (says Baker, the antiquary) borrowed from modern historians, but containing some things more uncommon, and not easily to be met with.” The first of these volumes, printed in 1715, is entitled Ειχων Μιχρο-βιβλιχε, sive Icon Libellorum, or a Critical History of Pamphlets.“In this he styles himself” a gentleman of the inns of, court.“The others are entitled” Athenæ Britannicæ, or a Critical History of the Oxford and Cambridge Writers and Writings, &c. by M. D.“London, 1716, 8vo. They are all of so great rarity, that Dr. Farmer never saw but one volume, the first, nor Baker but three, which were sent to him as a great curiosity by the earl of Oxford, and are now deposited in St. John’s college, Cambridge. In the British Museum there are seven. From the” Icon Libellorum," the only volume we have had an opportunity of perusing attentively, the author appears to have been well acquainted with English authors, their works and editions, and to have occasionally looked into the works of foreign bibliographers. 1


Pennant’s Hist, of Whiteford, p. 115. D’Israeli’s Calamities of Authors.